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jerryking : high-touch   8

The opportunities left behind when innovation shakes up old industries
November 28, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | GUY NICHOLSON.

early meetings and phone calls were casual conversations with a couple of landscape photographers who specialize in golf.

The very nature of their business had changed fundamentally...After the Internet disrupted print magazines and media, they recast themselves as digital marketers, selling online rights to images created with high-tech arrays of digital cameras, drones and processing software. But even while embracing technology to take their work to new artistic heights, there were dramatically fewer places left for golfers to come across this art in print......Had their little corner of publishing been so thoroughly disrupted and abandoned that it now had more demand than supply? .....Technological innovation can be extremely disruptive and painful – and in the digital era, capable of changing entire industries seemingly overnight. But when creative destruction puts good things in peril, slivers of opportunity can emerge. After the masses and the smart money have flocked to newer technologies, formerly ultra-competitive spaces can be left wide open for innovation – abandoned fields for small businesses, start-ups and niche players to occupy.

It helps to offer a level of quality or service the bigger players consider uneconomical. Look at the travel industry, which has been thoroughly remade under waves of innovation: cellphones, digital cameras, GPS, Google Maps. Between internet comparison shopping and Airbnb, travel agents could have gone the way of the traveller’s cheque. But in the wake of all that disruption, tiny bespoke agencies specializing in advice, unique experiences, complicated itineraries and group travel have re-emerged to offer services too niche for the big digital players.....Similar things are happening in industries such as gaming, where video games have cleared the way for board-game cafes, and vinyl music, which survived the onslaught of MP3s and streaming music on the strength of nostalgia, millennial fascination and sound quality. As the rest of the industry moved into digital, neighbourhood record stores and small manufacturers picked up the pieces, catering to an enthusiastic subset of music buyers.

“We were growing very rapidly, not because vinyl was growing, but because a lot of pressing plants were going out of business,” Ton Vermeulen, a Dutch DJ and artist manager who bought a former Sony record plant in 1998, told Toronto journalist David Sax in his 2016 book The Revenge of Analog. Vinyl is back in the mainstream, but its disruption cleared the field for smaller players.

Abandoned fields aren’t for everyone. Building a business around an off-trend service or product can be a tough slog (jck: hard work)for fledgling businesses and entrepreneurs, and risky. In the case of the golf photographers, two dozen artists signed up to create a high-end subscription magazine. It’s beautiful, but with two years of work riding on a four-week Kickstarter campaign, there’s no guarantee this particular field will prove to have been worth reclaiming.

Of course, risk has always been part of small business. But a market waiting to be served – that’s a precious thing. As long as there is disruption, it will create opportunities for small businesses to reoccupy abandoned fields
abandoned_fields  analog  bespoke  counterintuitive  creative_destruction  David_Sax  decline  digital_artifacts  digital_cameras  disruption  hard_work  high-risk  high-touch  innovation  Kickstarter  new_businesses  niches  off-trends  opportunities  photography  print_journalism  small_business  start_ups  travel_agents 
december 2018 by jerryking
Travel Agents? No. Travel ‘Designers’ Create Strategies, Not Trips. - The New York Times
By JOANNE KAUFMAN JULY 5, 2017

Affluent travelers are turning to travel designers, whose services go beyond booking trips to managing travel portfolios.....a subset of travel planners — they prefer the term travel designers — who do far more than simply book trips. They manage the travel portfolios of their affluent clients, mapping out a schedule that might, over a year, include mother-daughter weekends in the Caribbean, father-son heli-skiing, a romantic husband-and-wife weekend getaway and an elaborate summer trip for the whole family.....A high level of planning and involvement “is part of an emerging market where there are people who have more money than time and want expertise,” ..... For example, he said, “a traditional travel agent wouldn’t know to ask questions like ‘what’s the smallest plane you’d be willing to fly on?’”

Such clients,...may not be price sensitive, but are highly sensitive to perceived slights. “Someone I know professionally,” he said, “went on a trip to a remote location and was served frozen orange juice, and told me he would never use his travel designer again because he expected fresh juice.”

Often, long-range planning is a practical necessity. Some of the most sought-after lodges and boutique hotels have limited space.....my own take, a caveat, is that it is unclear whether the degree of planning involved leaves room for serendipity (See Add Uncertainty to Your Financial Plans - NYTimes.com)
affluence  boutique_hotels  concierge_services  curation  detail_oriented  high_net_worth  high-touch  hospitality  hotels  itineraries  long-range  luxury  planning  portfolio_management  serendipity  travel  travel_agents  uncertainty 
july 2017 by jerryking
Art market ripe for disruption by algorithms
MAY 26, 2017 | Financial Times | by John Dizard.

Art consultants and dealers are convinced that theirs is a high-touch, rather than a high-tech business, and they have arcane skills that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate..... better-informed collectors [are musing about] how to compress those transaction costs and get that price discovery done more efficiently.....The art world already has transaction databases and competing price indices. The databases tend to be incomplete, since a high proportion of fine art objects are sold privately rather than at public auctions. The price indices also have their issues, given the (arguably) unique nature of the objects being traded. Sotheby’s Mei Moses index attempts to get around that by compiling repeat-sales data, which, given the slow turnover of particular works of art, is challenging.....Other indices, or value estimations, are based on hedonic regression, which is less amusing than it sounds. It is a form of linear regression used, in this case, to determine the weight of different components in the pricing of a work of art, such as the artist’s name, the work’s size, the year of creation and so on. Those weights in turn are used to create time-series data to describe “the art market”. It is better than nothing, but not quite enough to replace the auctioneers and dealers.....the algos are already on the hunt....people are watching the auctions and art fairs and doing empirics....gathering data at a very micro level, looking for patterns, just to gather information on the process.....the art world and its auction markets are increasingly intriguing to applied mathematicians and computer scientists. Recognising, let alone analysing, a work of art is a conceptually and computationally challenging problem. But computing power is very cheap now, which makes it easier to try new methods.....Computer scientists have been scanning, or “crawling”, published art catalogues and art reviews to create semantic data for art works based on natural-language descriptions. As one 2015 Polish paper says, “well-structured data may pave the way towards usage of methods from graph theory, topic labelling, or even employment of machine learning”.

Machine-learning techniques, such as software programs for deep recurrent neural networks, have already been used to analyse and predict other auction processes.
algorithms  disruption  art  art_finance  auctions  collectors  linear_regression  data_scientists  machine_learning  Sotheby’s  high-touch  pricing  quantitative  analytics  arcane_knowledge  art_market 
june 2017 by jerryking
Is loyalty to an art gallery outdated? — FT.com
SEPTEMBER 23, 2016 by: Harriet Fitch Little.

Dealer-client relationships have been founded on what he terms “proper social conversations”: dinners out, trips taken and “[the collector’s] ability to share with the gallery the enthusiasm, the sheer admiration and wonder at an artist’s work”.

But art fairs, auctions and the internet have rendered conversations with dealers a choice rather than a necessity for buyers. In Selling Contemporary Art (2015), [North York Central Library, Book Lang & Lit 5th Fl Nonfiction In Library 706.88 WIN] which charts how the market has transformed since 2008, author Edward Winkleman uses a phrase he acquired from the Los Angeles-based collector Stefan Simchowitz to describe the shift: “cultural Lutheranism”. Collectors now have the tools to evaluate and purchase art without the hand holding of a gallerist — perhaps without ever even visiting an exhibition....the fickleness of the contemporary art market, where artists are “on the top ten hits parade for a while and then you never hear of them again” makes the dealer whose taste one trusts an indispensable guide....art lovers stick with particular dealers if they demonstrate a commitment to art that goes beyond the financial....for a gallerist, “Where you have a choice is the artists you choose to work with, the clients you choose to work with,” -- “The key for the whole thing is trust.”
trustworthiness  David_Bowie  mentoring  collectors  collectibles  art  dealerships  galleries  loyalty  taste-makers  books  contemporary_art  relationships  high-touch  art_market  customer_loyalty 
september 2016 by jerryking
Grateful Student Returns the Favor - New York Times
By ROBERT JOHNSON
Published: August 7, 2005

Peter A. Georgescu whose "The Source of Success" (Jossey-Bass, $27.95) is being published this month, retired as chairman and chief executive of Young & Rubicam in 2000. The book aims to explain what Mr. Georgescu views as the two major challenges facing America: economic competition from the emerging economies of China and India and a need to foster more creativity within American companies.

"The only way this nation can compete with those that produce high-quality products at a lower price is by generating ideas that build a special relationship with consumers," he said. "Everyone has buildings and technology; those are commodities. The only leverageable asset in the future will be creativity."

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See also Daniel Pink's work on countries cultivating skills and knowledge that are not available at a cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. That is, embracing play and abundance.

============================================
See also Tom Friedman's piece ("We Need a Second Party" - NYTimes.com ) below:

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). Adding "imagination"
advertising_agencies  book_reviews  Daniel_Pink  Young_&_Rubicam  CEOs  Tom_Friedman  creativity  competitiveness_of_nations  design  imagination  education  high-touch  innovation  talent  developed_countries  idea_generation  books  high-quality 
may 2012 by jerryking
We Need a Second Party - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: February 11, 2012

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries).

===============================
Link to Daniel Pink's work on countries cultivating skills and knowledge that are not available at a cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. That is, embracing play and abundance.
===============================
See Peter A. Georgescu. "The only way this nation can compete with those that produce high-quality products at a lower price is by generating ideas that build a special relationship with consumers," he said. "Everyone has buildings and technology; those are commodities. The only leverageable asset in the future will be creativity."
Tom_Friedman  GOP  design  imagination  education  high-quality  innovation  talent  developed_countries  Daniel_Pink  high-touch  developing_countries 
february 2012 by jerryking
U.S.G. and P.T.A.
Nov. 23, 2010 | NYT | By TOM FRIEDMAN. Our unemployment today
is not only because of the financial crisis. There are deeper problems.
Getting Americans back to work, requires more stimulus from the U.S.
govt. and from Parent Teacher Associations — i.e .top down and bottom
up. Three problems: (1) Global academic competition is stiffer. (2)
Technology has gone on a rampage, destroying low-end jobs and creating
high-end jobs. (3) America started slipping behind its peers in high
school & college graduation rates, global test scores in math and
critical thinking. To overcome these problems, we need to enlist both
the U.S.G. & the P.T.A. We need teachers & principals to be paid
better for better performance. We need better: parents ready to hold
their kids to higher standards of academic achievement; students who
come to school ready to learn, not to text. And to support all of this,
we need an all-society effort to nurture a culture of achievement and
excellence.
academic_achievement  education  globalization  graduation_rates  high-end  high-touch  parenting  PISA  text_messages  Tom_Friedman 
november 2010 by jerryking
A whole new mind: why right-brainers ... - Google Books
Excerpt from 'A whole new mind: why right-brainers will rule
the future' By Daniel H. Pink. "Indeed, one of design's most potent
economic effects is this very capacity to create new markets... The
forces of Abundance, Asia, and Automation turn goods and services into
commodities so quickly that the only way to survive is by constantly
developing new innovations, inventing new categories, and (in Paola
Antonelli's lovely phrase) giving the world something it didn't know it
was missing.
============================================

See also Tom Friedman's piece ("We Need a Second Party" - NYTimes.com ) below:

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). Adding "imagination"
design  Daniel_Pink  innovation  storytelling  symphony  empathy  play  meaning  sense-making  new_businesses  new_categories  automation  abundance  Asia  developing_countries  imagination  Tom_Friedman  high-touch  special_sauce  skills  developed_countries 
october 2009 by jerryking

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